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Sometimes only the finest will do when it comes to reclaiming a sense of wellbeing. That has become the mantra of modern living and with travellers now expecting spa treatments to be part of their getaway experiences, hotels, resorts and retreats are upping the luxury quotient of their spa menu. After all, it's big business.
According to a study conducted by SRI International last year, wellness tourism represented a $US439 billion ($480 billion) global market for the tourism industry, and one that is projected to grow almost 10 per cent a year over the next five years.
So take stock, replenish and rebalance with Australia's most indulgent treatments.
Hayman One&Only, Queensland
Nothing says extravagance like a massage bed plonked in the pristine waters of the Whitsundays, provided the tide is right and the swell calm. Subject to weather conditions, the Ocean Dreaming Massage at the new One&Only Hayman Island has the added calming effect of floating on water. After all, the word 'spa' stands for sanus per aquam – Latin for health through water. A masseuse can tailor the treatment to your needs using warm botanical oils. Their spa philosophy is based on three essential elements – rest, rebalance and renewal, all guaranteed with this treatment. Swimwear is required and sunscreen provided.
The Ocean Dreaming Massage costs $400. See hayman.oneandonlyresorts.com
QT Sydney, New South Wales
Just like the bold interiors of QT Sydney, their spaQ audaciously promises a complete transformation with their Metamorphosis treatment. The three-hour revolution begins with a back massage using a warm oil infusion of geranium, grapefruit, lavender and organic sunflower oil before anti-oxidant rich caviar is daubed on your face with a special focus on the eye area. The extravaganza ends with a mini manicure and pedicure. A recent winner of Health Club & Spa Facility of the Year at the 2014 Tourism Accommodation Awards, spaQ encourages its philosophy called 'freshly picked' which allows guests to specially craft their choice of treatments on the day of consultation.
The Metamorphosis treatment costs $445. See qhotels.com.au
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
The Southern Lodge spa experience begins on the walk from the lodge to the treatment rooms accessed via a boardwalk though the coastal flora with the waves crashing in the background. Their Ligurian Honey and Almond Wrap features ingredients that are strictly locally produced ensuring freshness direct from beehive-to-body. The 90-minute treatment begins with a Bay of Shoals mineral salt exfoliation, before being wrapped cocoon-like in a concoction of nourishing honey and almonds. It continues with a massage using aromatic island essential oils and finishes with a spritz of wild rosella flower mist. Post-treatment bliss continues on a marine beanbag deckside, looking out to sea.
The Ligurian Honey and Almond Wrap costs $270. See southernoceanlodge.com.au
Qualia, Hamilton Island, Queensland
Luxury spa aficionados know to look for the word 'signature' on the menu. Hamilton Island's Qualia offers an array of what they call 'signature ceremonies'. Their White Haven ceremony involves surrendering three hours starting with a calming silk caress followed by a sea mineral salt exfoliation, crushed pearl and kelp body mud before taking an outdoor rain shower. Of course, it all comes with the idyllic calming backdrop of eucalypts and the Coral Sea. Step back inside for the ocean dreaming massage using their bespoke Whitehaven aromatherapy oil. The finale is a marine facial, said to bestow both suppleness and clarity. Testament to the true definition of qualia - 'a collection of deeper sensory experiences'.
The White Haven Ceremony costs $480. See qualia.com.au
Injidup Spa Retreat, Margaret River, Western Australia
Set amongst melaleuca trees and perched on the cliff top on the edge of a national park, this spa retreat specialises in personally tailored treatments with an incredible outlook. Their three-hour Revive package offers a series of therapeutic treatments beginning with an invigorating sea salt body exfoliation and ending with 90-minute massage of your choice. In-between, you'll experience a green-clay body mask and a detox bath a purifying blend of juniper berry, cypress, lemon and grapefruit essential oils said to combat the effects of accumulated toxins in the body before retreating to one of the 10 villas onsite.
The Revive package costs $395. See injidupsparetreat.com.au
Park Hyatt Sydney, New South Wales
This is not just a treatment; the Park Hyatt has named this their signature ritual. Caviar Dream is a decadent facial and body spa combining caviar with the calming qualities of ginger promising not just rejuvenation, but renewal as well. The body treatment includes a full scrub, a warm wrap and a full-body massage with stones. Three hours later, it's likely you'll emerge onto the streets of Sydney a vision.
The Caviar Dream ritual costs $640. See sydney.park.hyatt.com
Crown Metropol Melbourne, Victoria
The Crown ISIKA spa's half-day Ultimate Renewal Package begins by surveying the panoramic view of the Melbourne skyline from 27 floors up while sipping a detoxifying tea. You'll then disrobe and recline into a tub, take a steam followed by a calming massage. The transformation is complete with a facial, manicure, pedicure and blow wave to finish. Lunch can be added to this package and full access is also available to the impressive waterfall-edge and deluge pools.
The Ultimate Renewal Package costs $535. See crownmelbourne.com.au/Isika-day-spa
Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania
A coastal sanctuary on the east coast of Tasmania, the Spa Saffire Transformation treatment is a day-long affair beginning with Italian skincare Vagheggi's Latin Body Sculpt and Gold Stem facial utilising plant stem cells as well as a peptide containing gold particles. After a break sampling fresh cuisine you will return to more pampering with the Spa Ritual's Love of Hands and Love of Feet treatment. Being named after a gem, it's a given that the spa also offer Diamond and Sapphire facials too.
The Spa Saffire Transformation costs $990. See saffire-freycinet.com.au
Shangri-La, Sydney, New South Wales
Promising not only deep relaxation, but also an 'unexpected spiritual and emotional reawakening' Shangri-La's Chi Spa Sodashi Healing Chakra Treatment utilises chakra crystals and oils. The 90-minute re-balancing treatment is aided by a therapist who pinpoints what needs to be re-aligned and concentrates on those areas. One recent guest thanked the therapist for 'lighting my path'. The spa recently won the Best Luxury Hotel Spa award at the 2014 World Luxury Spa Awards.
The Sodashi Healing Chakra Treatment costs $220. See shangri-la.com
Gwinganna, Tallebudgera Valley, Queensland
Set in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Gwinganna has long been renowned for their treatments. It helps that part owner Hugh Jackman is the poster boy for healthy living. Here, you can combine a facial or massage with a 50-minute Equine Assisted Meditation. The idea is to learn from horses to be present in each moment. A 'horse whisperer' aids this mindfulness session where you'll learn to use your intuition and aim to find the stillness and quiet within with a magnificent creature as your guide.
Equine Assisted Meditation costs $175. See gwinganna.com
A free indulgent treatment
Granted, this free treatment does come with a catch – to experience Aurora Spa, you have to be granted access to Qantas' Melbourne or Sydney First Lounge. But for the lucky few, these pre-flight 20-minute signature experiences could be just the tonic before embarking on a long-haul jaunt. Most indulgent is the 'Sydney Signature' which includes a back exfoliation followed by an application of a deep cleansing white clay masque. The treatment concludes with a relaxing foot massage followed by an application of a botanically rich body cream just before take-off.
Treatments at Aurora Spa are complimentary for Qantas First Lounge guests. See qantas.com.au
Explore the spas that deliver these indulgent experiences in the photo gallery above.